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Left In Lowell » Health Care

Left In Lowell

Member of the reality-based community of progressive (not anonymous) Massachusetts blogs

2013 Candidate Questionnaire Responses!

March 22, 2013

Gov. Patrick Pitches His Budget on LTC

by at 8:46 pm.

Here is a detailed breakdown of the Governor’s proposal by MassBudget.org.


October 22, 2012

Brown’s GOTV & Endorsement Blues

by at 7:41 pm.

On Sunday, in Lowell, Scott Brown held a rally. (Actually, it was more like a really?) But that can happen when you use such flawed surrogates, like Kelly Ayotte:
“I absolutely support and believe in marriage as between a man and a woman, and I do think it’s unfortunate that our state has made a different decision on that. And I know that many of you who are out there working at the state level, running for state office, I commend your efforts to repeal that law here in the state of New Hampshire. And I think that’s very important.

On Sunday, Kelly Ayotte helped Scott Brown diss on Elizabeth Warren and Federal Student Loan programs:

“Don’t let her fool you on that one,” Ayotte said, as more than 100 supporters cheered.

Brown said bills like the student-loan proposal backed by Warren are “not jobs bills, they’re tax bills.”

Yikes! 100+? The Brown clique should have kept it at the SAC club, like the last two times.

Elizabeth Warren held, what I would call, a RALLY. This rally was out in Northampton, on Sunday afternoon.

Elizabeth Warren draws 1,000 supporters in Northampton (more…)

August 7, 2012

Fat Cats Get A Haircut

by at 10:14 am.

From the Blog of Record:

BOSTON — The historic health-care cost-control law signed by Gov. Deval Patrick Monday will hurt the bottom lines of Massachusetts hospitals and limit their flexibility to grow, a major credit-rating agency warned.

The legislation is credit negative for Massachusetts hospitals because it will limit their revenue growth and reduce their operating flexibility,” Moody’s Investment Services wrote in a credit analysis of the new law.

In 2000, my family’s health care insurance, which included dental and vision, cost me less than $300/month. It was BC/BS and had all the bells and whistles. There were $15 co-pays. It was subsidized by my employer. In 2012, I buy insurance direct, no dental or vision, for $1100/month. We have $30 co-pays and $250 deductibles. Actually, the claw back provisions effectively keep us from seeking care, as we aren’t quite sure what we will get stuck paying. That is exactly what the insurer wants. People paying premiums, but not using the insurance.

So, to the fat cats I say, SUCK IT UP!

There is a redistribution of wealth here in America. But, it is NOT the ones you will see inferred in Mitt Romney campaign slurs or on Super PAC media buys. It IS the various ways the system; via cable bills, health insurance, college loans, home mortgages, ect. that the fat cats suck the middle class dry. If we swam in a muddy river and came out with leeches stuck to our neck, wouldn’t we pull them off? Yet, we happily sign up for monthly installments to pay for the priviledge to have certain stuff.

I can go without cable TV. Health care?

June 30, 2012


by at 2:13 pm.




June 28, 2012

Open Thread: Mandate Edition

by at 10:46 am.

Update: “Those who have sought to demonize health reform need to put an end to their scare tactics. This needs to begin a new day, where the test is not what you can oppose but what you can propose.” - John Kerry

At a press conference held on March 6, 2006, Mitt Romney said he’s “very pleased with” the individual mandate.


May 22, 2012

The Trouble With Catholics

by at 11:02 am.

Not too long ago, I saw a short clip on City Life that made me wonder: Imagine If Muslims Made An Ad Like This One? Now, my friend George Anthes took exception to me making this point. He felt that it was more than appropriate for Catholics to assert their mores & values, as they headed into the polling booths to cast a ballot. In one regard, I fully agree. The point where I slip off is when politicians take the “will of the People,” as a mandate to codify dogma. It is perfectly fine for any politician/elected official to be “informed” by their faith, but it is another thing altogether to govern by it. The Constitution, dear readers, is very clear on this point.

In light of nitwits like former GOP presidential hopefuls, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, it wasn’t much of a stretch for me to be attuned to the consequences of impasssioned charlatans in the White House. Thus, I flipped the context of the video clip around, wondering if red blooded, apple pie eating, baseball watching, “Sarah Palin - real Americans” could sit quitely by, if Muslims asserted their faith in a similar fashion? You make the call.

Lately I have been tossing around this phrase: “You can’t rationalize a person out of an opinion, they did not arrive at in a rational way.” And this, I feel, is the trouble with Catholics. Well most, anyways.

March 1, 2012

More on Brown on Kennedy

by at 9:58 am.

This is a must read from David of BMG. It basically outlines everything we know about Kennedy’s position, from his prior support for bills that were in front of him. It also shows why it matters, against the backdrop of a wishy-washy editorial in the Boston Globe.

David writes:

They go on to say that, yeah, Ted Kennedy probably would have lined up with President Obama rather than Scott Brown, but Brown “is allowed to interpret” what Kennedy said and did.

Well, yes and no. Yes, figuring out what Kennedy would have thought about an issue he never precisely faced necessarily involves some guesswork. But no, Brown should not be “allowed” to simply make stuff up, or to ignore the evidence we have about what Kennedy’s positions were.

And we do have some good evidence.

The rest of his post is devoted to pretty much the kitchen sink in terms of outlining what Kennedy supported in the past, and what that most likely meant.

The bottom line is, Brown is not allowed to just get away with any interpretation of either the language of the bill, as I have repeatedly written. or as as David says again

There is a difference between “religious beliefs” and “moral convictions.” Senator Brown, take note – words have meaning, and you are not free to take the Humpty-Dumpty approach of substituting your own interpretation when the plain meaning of the words differs from it.

or the language of Kennedy’s past letter to the Pope, the bills he is on record as supporting, etc. David has a very nice and factual takedown of Brown and his shooting from the hip - does anyone actually believe that Scotto did any research into Kennedy’s likely position on a bill like the Blunt amendment before putting together his shamefully exploitative radio ad? I didn’t think so.

February 27, 2012

Do They Teach Reading Comprehension At Tufts?

by at 1:42 pm.

This is just turning into a bizarre set of examples of a total misreading of plain old English.

Does Scott Brown actually know how to read? Does he have any skills at all in reading comprehension? Did Tufts neglect this very important part of his education? I know I learned those skills in grammar school, but man, if he got into college without them, one would have hoped Tufts could have picked up the slack somehow. I have never seen an adult this epically bad at plain old reading comprehension.

Because now Brown is reading extra meaning into a letter Ted Kennedy sent a dying Pope about religious exemptions where he wrote

I believe in a conscience protection for Catholics in the health field and I’ll continue to advocate for it as my colleagues in the Senate and I work to develop an overall national health policy that guarantees health care for everyone

and claiming that Ted Kennedy would share his view of the Blunt amendment! Who in their right mind would think Kennedy would support this amendment?? Kennedy was specifying that a doctor or nurse should have an exemption from performing a medical procedure their religion disagrees with (a la abortion etc). NOT that employers should be able to discriminate against covering birth control for employees of their non-core institutions like hospitals.

This is beyond sad and insane. I can’t believe a sitting US Senator would be this dumb and exhibit such poor intellect. Never mind how bad it would be if Senator Brown knows exactly what the language in the letter (and in the Blunt amendment) mean but has decided to lie about it, an even worse situation. A wrong interpretation of an obvious plain English statement, or a lie to distort and exploit Ted Kennedy’s legacy - either way, it’s flabbergastingly terrible.

February 26, 2012

Doubling Down On a Bad Hand

by at 5:45 pm.

In case you’ve missed it the last couple of weeks, Scott Brown has mysteriously found his line in the sand to wrap his reelection around, and it’s by signing on as a cosigner to the Blunt amendment, which reads (bold mine so we can remark on it later):

A health plan shall not be considered to have failed to provide the essential health benefits package described in subsection (a) … on the basis that it declines to provide coverage of specific items or services because— (i) providing coverage (or, in the case of a sponsor of a group health plan, paying for coverage) of such specific items or services is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the sponsor, issuer, or other entity offering the plan; or (ii) such coverage (in the case of individual coverage) is contrary to the religious beliefs or moral convictions of the purchaser or beneficiary of the coverage.

Let’s evaluate this first from a campaign perspective, starting on the flip (this is a long post, but it includes videos!). (more…)

February 21, 2012

VA Vajayjay Probe Law On Hold; Texas Already Has It

by at 10:07 pm.

While the backlash over the requiring of transvaginal ultrasounds for abortions in VA has the Governor backing down (now saying he’ll “review the bill in its final format when it comes to him”) and the VA House postponing the bill two days in a row, in Texas, we can already see the results of a similar law, and others.

Just read through this post. Between places like Texas which have already enacted similar legislation, to Idaho outlawing the mere purchase of RU-486 (which is probably unconstitutional), state laws across this country have restricted, outlawed, and put huge burdens on women and their private health care choices, up to and including medically unnecessary vaginal probing.

Unmarried, impoverished and pregnant with her fourth child, McCormack faced the problem so many American women do because nearly 90 percent of the nation’s counties have no clinics or hospitals that will perform abortions. That is an outcome of nearly four decades of attacks by anti-choice forces. For her, the closest clinic was in Salt Lake City, a 150-mile drive. Because Utah requires a waiting period, she would have had to make the five-hour round-trip twice. The expense of the trip, the procedure and follow-up medical care also worried her.

Then she found out from her sister about RU-486, the abortion-inducing drug. Her sister ordered it, and McCormack took the pill as soon as it arrived. It worked. But there were complications that brought the fact of her abortion to the notice of authorities. In Idaho, self-induced abortions are outlawed. Although the original case against McCormack were dismissed last summer, they could be reinstated.

This woman, because her private medical matters became public, is, as Meteor Blades put it, treated in her community like a modern Hester Prynne. This is akin to the sort of bullying Jessica Ahlquist received. Unbelievable.

No woman in the world should vote Republican. Unless, ladies, you want to go return to dangerous back-ally abortions and more unwanted pregnancies due to lack of access to birth control.

Wake up, America. Republicans want to screw you, and then dump you with the consequences.

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